I find that women and men who are drawn to vintage clothing have certain qualities I adore. For starters, they are patient. These shoppers are levelheaded and not in a hurry. My favorite quality, however, is that they have an affinity to be and act differently - be themselves. Wanting to differentiate yourself from others is what makes me tick. I’m constantly trying to find and discover the uniqueness in all my style clients. Vintage shoppers have this attribute built in. Last but not least, vintage clothes buyers on some level of care about our environment. It’s as important as recycling and composting!
The most obvious benefit of buying vintage is that you are acquiring clothing that already exists. This means reducing the need for the mass production of clothes that pollute our air and clog our landfills. How wonderful it would be to aspire to reduce this by even 10%?!
Another benefit to buying vintage clothing is that it is sturdy often associated with well-made. Sometimes to a fault (wool and tweed fabrics are 100% with no added Lycra’s for softness), but definitely hardy. Since mass-produced clothing has become so commonplace, special consideration to quality and design is often left out. Vintage clothing just seems to stand the test of time.
Further, choosing to “go vintage” supports your uniqueness. By carefully selecting antique pieces, it shows off your distinctiveness. You can be assured no one will be showing up to the party in the same look.
Last, vintage shopping is the cornerstone for pattern making and today’s “inspirations”. Most popular retail stores use vintage clothing to pattern their new looks so why shouldn’t you?!!
The easiest place to find vintage clothing is at a vintage retail store. Curated pieces have been collected and now all you have to do is find your connection. The “sifting through” has already been done.
The best place to find inexpensive vintage clothing is at thrift stores in small rural towns. I’ve had the best luck finding pieces that are sometimes under $1.
The best place to find high-quality vintage clothing is at estate sales in higher socio-economic cities. You don’t always get the best price but you have a good chance of finding a designer, treasured piece worth the drive.
Here are some tips to keep in mind. Check the zippers and seams. Old zippers are hard to manage and can even break. Old thread is often weak and can tear easily. If you find a garment you love be sure to check all zippers and confirm that the threading is intact or realize that you may have to replace both at some cost.
Some musty smells cannot be removed from timeworn garments. Some aged polyester or wool can grab hold of these odors and likely won’t “let go”. The remedy is to mask the smell with modern perfume or scented oil.
Best pieces to buy vintage: well-preserved coats & any silk pieces. Worst pieces to buy vintage: hats and shoes (hats lose their shape and the average men and women's shoes will have nearly doubled).
Just like clothing, when you layer it, you immediately add more visual interest. I often talk about the third piece: most people just wear a first piece, a top, and a second piece, a bottom. The third piece adds dimension, personality and lots of optical excitement. Add a third piece to your neck, ears or hands, too!